Today I finished compiling my manuscript ready for paperback publication via Amazon’s Createspace. The first time – a few months back – proved to be tricky, but this time I felt much more comfortable in what I was doing. Then I realised that’s because this is my seventh journey through this process this year – seventh in under 6 months, actually. Because I’m releasing a trilogy, that’s three books which need to be formatted for paperback. I did an initial draft run in early May for all three books so that I could give the cover designer an accurate page count (necessary in order to work out the required thickness of the spine).
It was something of a learning process, and I skipped a few steps to make this quicker. I did all the formatting, but in terms of content I left out a few things: I focused on the novel itself and left space for things like the maps, front matter like the copyright page, and acknowledgements and so forth at the back of the novel. So, after I received the completed cover files (and they’re really rather great) I needed to re-format the paperbacks (because I’m exporting from Scrivener rather than building the whole thing in Word), but this time with the front and back matter added in. This, though is where things get out of step: I exported and formatted book one first (taking the total up to 4 paperback builds). While I was waiting for that to arrive, I did the same for book two (taking the total to 5).
I’ve now proofread book one and made final changes to book one. I submitted those (taking the total to 6), and today did the draft proof for the final book of the trilogy, which takes the total up to 7 export-format cycles. I still have the final, final paperbacks to build for books two and three once I’ve finished proofreading and making corrections, so there’ll be a total of nine run-throughs of this whole process. But I’m almost there, and by going through this process several times I’ve managed to get a better grasp on how it all works, and when it’s time for my next book (due some time next year) this will – hopefully – be a smoother, more streamlined process.